Patrick Shaw

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Person.png Patrick Shaw  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
No image available (photo).jpg
Born18 September 1913
Kew, Victoria, Australia
Died27 December 1975
Cause of death
"heart attack"
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Victim ofpremature death
Australian Ambassador to the United States, dies of heart attack a month after the 1975 coup in Australia.

Sir Patrick Shaw was an Australian public servant and diplomat.[1][2]

Early Career

Shaw joined the Department of External Affairs in 1939.[3] He worked in the Department's political section until 1941 when he was sent on his first overseas posting as third secretary in Australia's Tokyo legation. Shaw and other legation staff were taken as prisoners of war when war broke out,[4] until exchanged for Japanese diplomats in August1942. Shaw served as official secretary at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand in 1943-45. While he was in Wellington the Australian-New Zealand Agreement was negotiated and signed. In 1945 he was sent as first secretary to the Australian legation in China, located first at Chungking and then at Nanking.[5]

Hurriedly sent back to Tokyo in 1947, Shaw replaced W. Macmahon Ball as head of the Australian mission and became British Commonwealth representative on the Allied Council for Japan.

Ambassador to the United States

In 1973, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced Shaw's appointment as Ambassador to the United States.[6] Whitlam's Labor government was very disliked in Washington because it had criticized U.S. policy in Vietnam. Shaw helped to soften American antagonism towards Australia, but still presented his government's policies firmly, particularly its opposition to the expansion of the U.S. naval base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.[5] the government was toppled in a parliamentary coup on November 11, 1975.

On November 3, 1975, his wife, Lady Shaw, suffered a broken bone in her band and severe cuts and bruises to her face in a street attack, and underwent surgery to her face.[7]

She received ex gratia remuneration from the United States Government in 1977.[8][9]

Ambassador Shaw suffered a fatal heart attack and died on 27 December 1975 at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, and was cremated.[10]

Shaw's daughter, Karina Campbell (née Shaw) followed her father in working in the Australian diplomatic service. Karina Campbell joined the then-Department of External Affairs in 1963 and later held a range of senior positions in the Department.